The building that once housed a well-known Lakeland church is slated to be demolished.

The vacant Without Walls Central sanctuary has been vacant for several years. A developer has purchased the property and plans to replace the church building with senior citizen apartments.

Doug Cook said he plans to start the demolition of the sanctuary in about a month.

The church was built in the mid-1980s and was originally known as Carpenter's Home Church. It could seat up to 10,000 people.

Former church board member Mallory Johnson was disappointed to hear the sanctuary would be torn down but not surprised by the news because two different churches couldn't make a go of it there.

"I kind of expected it one day," he said.

There is a very large building on the property that will be saved. It is a three-story building constructed by a carpenters' union in the 1920s.

The building was a retirement center for carpenters for decades. Later it was the home of Evangel Christian School.

Cook said he plans on converting that building into an assisted living center.

Neighbors to the property were happy to hear the historic building would get a new lease on life.

"We are thrilled about it and we feel like that would be a good neighbor to us," said Margaret Waibel.

"That's wonderful. We love seeing that. A lot of history right there," said neighbor Natalie Edwards

The church buildings had fallen into disrepair while vacant. Vandalism had been a problem as well.